Susannah Carter

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Susannah Carter (fl. 1765?) was the author of an early cookery book, The Frugal Housewife, or, Complete woman cook. The title page of the first edition indicated that Carter came from Clerkenwell in London. Otherwise, little is known about her life.

Her book was first published in around 1765 in London by Francis Newbery, who was based in the printing enclave around St Paul's Cathedral. He was the nephew of John Newbery, after whom the Newbery Medal for children's books was named. The book was also published in 1765 in Dublin, and was first reprinted in North America in 1772 by Benjamin Edes and John Gill in Boston, illustrated with prints made by Paul Revere.

The book strongly influenced the first cookery book by an American author, Amelia Simmons's American Cookery (1796), with parts copied almost word for word. An appendix was added to an 1803 American edition, adding "receipts" [recipes] "adapted to the American mode of cooking" - such as Indian puddings, buckwheat cakes, pumpkin pie, maple molasses, and maple beer. The appendix may have been translated from a Swedish book, Rural Oeconomy: the same appendix appears in an 1805 edition of Hannah Glasse's The Art of Cookery (originally published in 1747).

Confusingly, a completely different book with the same title was written by Lydia Maria (Francis) Child which became extremely popular, and stayed in print from 1829 to 1855. Child's The Frugal Housewife was also published in London and Glasgow from 1832-1834. To end the confusion, Child changed her title to The American Frugal Housewife in 1832.[1] She disparagingly wrote of the usefulness of Carter's book for Americans. "It was the intention of the author of the American Frugal Housewife, to have given an Appendix from the English Frugal Housewife; but upon examination, she found the book so little fitted to the wants of this country, that she has been able to extract but little."[2]


  1. ^ "Lydia Maria Child". Feeding America. Archived from the original on 7 April 2010. Retrieved 5 July 2015.
  2. ^ "The American Frugal Housewife". Retrieved 5 July 2015.

Further reading[edit]

  • Botein, Stephen. "The Anglo-American Book Trade before 1776: Personnel and Strategies". Printing and Society in Early America. Edited by William L. Joyce et al. Worcester: American Antiquarian Society, 1983.
  • Lowenstein, Eleanor. Bibliography of American Cookery Books 1742-1860. Worcester, MA: American Antiquarian Society, 1972.
  • Maclean, Virginia. A Short-title Catalogue of Household and Cookery Books Published in the English Tongue 1701-1800. London: Prospect Books, 1981.
  • Townsend, John Rowe. John Newbery and His Books. Metuchen, N.J.: The Scarecrow Press, 1994.

External links[edit]